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OFW remittances hit $3.05B in March

OVERSEAS Filipino worker (OFW) remittances rebounded to $3.05 trillion in March from nine-month low, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) data showed on Wednesday.

Overall, or personal, remittances were 2.6 percent higher than the $2.97 billion posted a year earlier and also improved from February's $2.95 trillion, which was the lowest level recorded since May 2023's $2.78 trillion.

«The increase in personal remittances in March 2024 was due to remittances from land-based workers with work contracts of one year or more and sea- and land-based workers with work contracts of less than one year,» the BSP said in a statement.

Money sent home via banks alone totaled $2.74 billion, 2.5 percent up from the $2.67 billion recorded in March last year and February's $2.65 trillion.

«The expansion in cash remittances in March 2024 was due to growth in receipts from both land- and sea-based workers,» the central bank said.

Growth for both personal and cash remittances, however, were also the slowest so far for the year and since last July's 2.5 percent and June 2023's 2.1 percent, respectively.

Year to date, meanwhile, personal remittances were up 2.8 percent to $9.15 billion, from $8.90 billion a year earlier, while cash remittances rose 2.7 percent to $8.22 billion from $8.0 billion.


The first quarter's cash remittance growth was mainly due to flows from the United States, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Singapore, the BSP said.

By country source, the US accounted for the biggest share (41.2 percent), followed by Singapore (7.2 percent), Saudi Arabia (5.9 percent) and Japan (5.0 percent).

Other countries that contributed to total remittances were the United Kingdom (4.4 percent), the UAE (4.3 percent), Canada (3.2 percent), Taiwan (2.8 percent), Qatar (2.8 percent) and Hong Kong (2.5 percent).

Sought for comment, ING Manila Bank senior economist Nicholas Antonio Mapa said the slower remittance growth could be due to foreign exchange fluctuations and lower inflation.


«Despite the miss, OFW remittances remain a stable and dependable source of foreign currency and peso purchasing power for the PHL (Philippine) economy,» Mapa added.